with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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In this episode of The Inner Chief podcast, I speak to business guru, Jay Abraham, on how to achieve business wealth without risk through acquisition and the most powerful marketing strategies in the world.

As Founder and CEO of The Abraham Group, Jay has spent his entire career solving complex problems and fixing underperforming businesses.

He has significantly increased the bottom lines of over 10,000 clients in more than 1,000 industries, and over 7,200 sub-industries worldwide, improving their performance by billions of dollars.

Jay is recognised as one of the world’s most successful and impactful marketing strategists, business innovators, entrepreneurial advisors and mentors; he is the coach and advisor to Anthony Robbins, Daymond John, Grant Cardone and many others.

He has written multiple best-selling books, with his latest being released in September 2023, titled Business Wealth Without Risk: How to Create a Lifetime of Income & Wealth Every 3 to 5 years.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The various mental models he uses to achieve massive business growth
  • The best coaching questions you can ask as a leader
  • Why his strategy of acquisition over starting up is a far less risky and higher impact approach when done the right way, and
  • Being the strategist and big thinker, not the operator.

Thanks to James Whittaker of Win The Day for introducing us to Jay.

Connecting with Jay Abraham

You can connect with Jay via his website.

Books and resources

Business Wealth Without Risk – by Jay Abraham


Through acquisition, you can acquire competitors that you can integrate into your business and eliminate duplicative areas, which can give you far greater profit.


On the various mental models he uses

  • There's something like nine or 10 different ways of thinking. There's strategic, there's creative, there's deductive, inductive etc. And most people only use one of those areas.
  • Most people in business are very tactical, they really aren't very strategic. They get a very limited outcome from what they do. There's all kinds of soft skills that people don't realise that are available that can be mastered and that have been researched, data documented, that individually can produce up to 300% greater performance enhancement.
  • There's a lot of mental models that need to be broken because we have a rigidity thinking that our belief is the only belief out there.
  • I try to get everybody to take the time to understand, evaluate, examine, respect and acknowledge how other people that you interact with in your life, in your business, in your company, in your world, how they see life, because they are the ones you have to work through and for. If you don't appreciate them and they don't feel like they're appreciated, then there is a breakdown. It's all about gaining ethical advantage and leverage and where that advantage and leverage lies.

On his favourite questions

  • Most people don't know how to ask good questions. They don't know how to listen and demonstrate that they have heard.
  • I never liked the question, “What keeps you up at night?” Instead, I like asking someone, “What got you here? What was the process? How did you end up here? What's the path?”
  • I want to know and I want to listen, and I want them to know that somebody cares because it's not manipulative. I’m genuinely interested.
  • You want to be interesting, be interested. You want to trust, be trusted. 

On the huge opportunity of acquisition

  • I’ve spent my whole career growing businesses with a heavy focus on multiplying the profitability faster, bigger, safer, and more significantly than the top line, although the top line always grew. And I made massively great fees, and I frequently would have profit participations, but I never had equity in the businesses, and I created some really tremendously greater wealth for others than I ever shared for myself.
  • There's all these people that want to be entrepreneurs, all these people that are going to see that maybe a career path is a dead end and they're going to want to do something.
  • The truth is that the success rate of a from-the-beginning startup is about one in 20 in the first year and one in 10 in the first five years.
  • It's much easier as we found, and this was the genesis of the book, to find a business that has broken through those two time barriers but is grossly underperforming its potential.
  • There are approximately 200 ways you can finance the acquisition with almost no out of pocket or absolutely no out of pocket, and only a few of them are what you'd call owner carry, meaning you get the owner to do it. There's all kinds of ways to incentivize other entities, companies, organisations, to fund it for you. I have literally 97 categories, not just ways, but categories. Some have as many as 20 different ways to really blow up profit or EBITDA. And then you can do what we call an epic exit for a monster payday. And then you rinse and repeat.
  • You can acquire what's called access vehicles. Podcasts like this, blogs, discussion groups, URLs, sales forces, phone numbers etc. The concept is why be limited to the growth, mechanism, timeline, trajectory, everybody else follows when you can accelerate it far safer, far faster, far bigger?
  • As you're growing the business through acquisition and you're growing the profitability between the size and the outsized earnings, it makes the multiple many times larger, but the dollar's bigger. So, you get a double bang for your buck.
  • It depends on what happens in our economy, but adverse economies are some of the greatest opportunities possible. And if you have this knowledge base strongly and really well-prepared, you're going to be in an incredible position to do enormous things.
  • I learned from masters how to think differently. I was trained by a barter baron who did billions of dollars of barter. He taught me how to see value nobody else did.
  • Everybody competes in our life, whether it's your coworkers, the person that's vying for the promotion you want, whether it's your competitors. I mean, it's just a very powerful way of thinking and doing and being.

On being the strategist not the operator

  • You can do a Tom Sawyer, where you don't have to do the deals, you can get someone else to do them. You don't have to run the business, you don't even have to do anything, but you can keep most of the work.
  • The real opportunity is not to have to be the operator, but to be the strategist, the thinker. Tony (Robbins) has 150 plus businesses too, and almost all of them, he doesn't have outright ownership. He lets everyone else do the day-to-day. He gives them the big thinking. He basically helps grow them. He keeps acquiring more assets.
  • You have to change the game you're playing, and you have to ask, if nothing changes, what are you going to have at the end? If a different strategy can change the quality, the satisfaction, the security, the fulfilment, the enjoyment, the prosperity of your life, maybe you should at least explore it.

Final message of wisdom and hope for future leaders 

  • One of the greatest ideas I ever heard has driven a lot of my belief system. It was from a gentleman named Bob Proctor and he suggested that most people struggle in their life with the wrong non-verbalised question; they are tormented with wondering whether or not they are up to the challenge. In essence, they would say, “Am I worthy of this goal? Can I progress through the ranks? Can I run this business? Can I end up prosperous? Can I create the financial life I want?”
  • And Bob said that when you realise how much more is possible from time, effort, opportunity, access to a market, resources, people, capital, advertising, selling, then everything can be made to do better.
  • Essentially, the right question to ask is not, “Am I worthy of this goal I've set?” It's the opposite, “Is this goal worthy of me?” And that's a very profound question to ask.

Stay epic,